The Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, through its Tourism Awareness Programme, is ensuring that young persons learn about the various aspects of tourism to solidify the longevity of the industry.
It is imperative that students know that there is not only a viable career in tourism, but also that they can play a part in creating a memorable experience for the visitor, said Community Tourism Officer, Shaline Welcome during Wednesday’s (November 21) edition of “Working for You.”
“The Tourism Education Programme is basically to entice the children as to the tourism industry, the benefits of the tourism industry, and the role that they play as students now in the tourism industry,” she explained. “It gives them a better understanding of what the industry has to offer, including careers.”
Ms. Welcome said that the students participate in “theory classes, experience classes and practical sessions.”
“In terms of the theory classes, we go into the classrooms and we teach about tourism. We also have stakeholders who would come to the classrooms and give brief demonstrations as to their jobs and how they also play a role in the tourism industry. We also allow the students to experience tourism. We take them out into the tourism industry. So they get a first-hand [knowledge] of the tourism product itself,” she added, discussing the experiential aspects.
The practical sessions include etiquette training.
“We have stakeholders who join with us and we teach the children about etiquette. They learn how to use knives and forks, good behaviour and manners when dinning out,” she said.
Currently, there are six schools participating in the programme, which has been upgraded over the past three years. Ms. Welcome mentioned that, initially, there were four schools, but now it has been extended to six.
“There are four primary schools which include Tyrell Williams Primary, Tucker Clarke Primary, Sandy Point Primary, Dr. William Connor Primary and also the Advanced Vocational Education Centre (AVEC) is a part of it. In addition, the Basseterre High School is participating,” said Ms. Welcome.
The Community Tourism Officer explained that the students are excited to learn about tourism.
“The thing about it is that good news travels fast. We would have had two sets of classes before. Our first set of students are now in first form. The second set is in grade six. Each time we go to the classes in the beginning of the school term, the students already know what is coming in terms of the classroom sessions, the practical sessions and the hands-on sessions. So we get full participation from not only the students but also the teachers. All anticipate going through the Tourism Education Programme,” said Ms. Welcome.